Wendy Zhang/ Shanghai Daily news
In such a fast-moving city as Shanghai, people rush to get things done as
quickly as possible. Marriage is no exception.
speed-dating event, which sees marriage as its logical outcome, is scheduled to
kick off at the Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center on
December 3, specifically for young white-collar employees.
covering several activities including 'making friends', 'speed-dating',
'together with parents' and 'free activities', is expected to attract 500
According to the rules of the game, at the 'make friends' area,
participants of the opposite sex can talk with each other freely and swap their
phone numbers and addresses for further contact. When two people are willing to
take things further, they can go to the 'speed-dating' area where they are not
allowed to talk with others from the opposite sex and others are not allowed to
disturb them, either. At the 'together with parents' area, parents are invited
to give suggestions to their children, and participants are free to attend
various activities at the 'free activities' area.
"The ultimate goal of the
event is to make participants appreciate the responsibilities of marriage first
and then fall in love with each other gradually," explained Bai Naimu, a
spokesman for the event. Many young white-collar workers are seeking
unrestricted freedom and don't want to get married, and the event is a brave
effort to emphasise marriage and family responsibility, Bai pointed out, adding
that they will hold special river-cruise weddings free of charge for those who
succeed in finding their Mr. or Mrs. Right at the event.
However, the 'flash
marriage' model has aroused heated public debate. "Will such marriages be
long-term and stable," many white-collar employees asked. Many couples who were
in love with each other for many years prior to marriage also end up divorced,
Bai answered, adding that if the 'flash marriage' couple divorce, they will feel
less hurt when compared with those who have been together for a long
Such events offer a good opportunity for people to get to know each
other, but they should think twice before tying the knot, a sociologist